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R&B singer Charlie Wilson has announced that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September and is currently undergoing treatment while working to raise awareness of the disease.

In a statement released Thursday, the former lead singer of the Gap Band said that his prognosis is “excellent” and he is teaming with the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) to help spread the word about prevention.

When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September, I thought to myself ‘I’m too young… this isn’t a cancer I should be getting,’” says Wilson. “While I was surprised to discover that this disease strikes one out of every six American men, I was astounded to learn that African American men are 1.6 times more likely than others to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. My wife, Mahin, and I are very fortunate. I was lucky to be diagnosed and begin treatment early. My prognosis is excellent.”

Wilson, whose Jive album “Uncle Charlie” is due Feb. 17, is buoyed by the fact that his cancer was detected early. Following his diagnosis, he consulted with his doctor to select the best treatment option for him and started a course of therapy on Nov. 21. His focus now is to use his experience as a cautionary tale.

For years I’ve spent my life performing,” explains Wilson. “Now I need to spend time informing. Although men are 35 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer than women are to be diagnosed with breast cancer, no one seems to talk about the disease. We men don’t want to consider or vocalize our vulnerabilities. It was my wife who kept after me to see my doctor for a screening. I thank God she did. Now I feel compelled to spread the word about prostate cancer.”

Wilson will be taking the message of early detection and treatment on the road with him as he starts his media and concert tours for his new album this spring. He plans to deliver his message overseas to U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Kuwait when he performs for them later this month.

Wilson will also be helping the Prostate Cancer Foundation raise funds to support prostate cancer research, specifically by supporting a PCF Creativity Research Grant. These grants support creative research ideas with high potential and no current funding. They encourage the development of high-risk/high-reward concepts that, if successful, could provide the basis for dramatically reducing death and suffering from prostate cancer. Those wanting to make a donation to the Charlie Wilson-PCF Creativity Research Grant can go to www.unclecharliewilson.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Urban Daily sends out our prayers to Charlie Wilson, his family, friends and fans and wish him a speedy and healthy recovery.

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